Candidacy of 2 running for Poland council in question

By Jordyn Grzelewski


The candidacy of two people vying for seats on village council in the November general election is now in question.

The Mahoning County Board of Elections notified William Dunnavant and Rex Fisher that they had disqualified themselves as independent candidates by casting party-affiliated ballots in the primary election earlier this month. Poland voters could vote in the primary race for Struthers Municipal Court Judge.

Ohio has a closed-primary system, meaning voters can vote only for candidates from the political party with which they identify themselves. At the polls, primary voters have the option to choose either a Republican or Democratic ballot. Independents can vote on issues only.

Dunnavant has since withdrawn his petition to run as an independent candidate. The elections board had not reached Fisher as of Thursday afternoon and will take action on the status of his candidacy at a meeting this morning (the board will certify independent candidates’ petitions for the general election). If Fisher has not withdrawn as an independent candidate by today’s 8 a.m. meeting, he will not be able to run in the general election, an elections board official said.

Because he has withdrawn as an independent candidate, Dunnavant will have the option to run as a write-in candidate. The deadline for write-in candidates to file with the elections board is August.

Reached by The Vindicator Thursday, Dunnavant said, “It was an error on my part. I voted as a Democrat in the primary. I wasn’t aware that voting in a partisan election would affect that.”

Dunnavant and Fisher were joined in the race for four seats on council by four other candidates: Linda Srnec, J. Michael Thompson, Martha Morgan and Sam Moffie.

Dunnavant and Srnec currently are members of council.

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